tv 20th Anniversary of Bombing of U.S. Embassies in Africa CSPAN August 8, 2018 11:25am-11:56am EDT
us embassies in kenya and tanzania, the effects killed 200 people. and al qaeda's first major offensive against the us. at the state department officials who were at the embassy that day and the deputy and assistant secretary of state for africa, to mark the anniversary. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests. we are delighted with the turnout. thank you very much. good morning.
my name is t-bone irish, secretary of state for african affairs and i'm honored and humbled to be with all of you as we remember those who lost in the 1998 bombings of the embassies in my robie, it is my privilege to introduce deputy secretary of state john j sullivan. john j sullivan was confirmed by the united states senate sworn in as deputy secretary of state on may 24, 2017, and later served as acting secretary of state from april 1, 2018, until mike pompeo joined the department. deputy secretary sullivan brings a wealth of experience to the state department family. he spent decades in the private sector, most recently as partner, mayer brown llp and cochair of the national security practice. he has held senior positions in
two prior administrations at the justice, defense, and commerce department including deputy secretary of commerce from 2007 to 2009. earlier in his career mister sullivan was a law clerk, david souter, supreme court of the united states, and clerk at the united states court of appeals for the fifth circuit. a native of boston, massachusetts, mister sullivan is a graduate of brown university and earned his law degree from columbia university school of law. join me in welcoming deputy secretary sullivan. [applause] m >> thank you. it is a great honor for me to stand here today and a solemn day in which we gather. i have had the honor of speaking
at events like this. i speak at our embassies when i travel around the world and i think all of those women and men including our locally employed staff. i always make point as my colleagues know of speaking to the locally employed staff and tell them how important it was to our mission. i also thank them for their service. i have said this many times, my colleagues get sick of me reminding everyone, but i have a personal connection, a family connection to some of what you and your loved ones went through. my family, my uncle was a career foreign service officer who served 32 years as our ambassador to iran. he and my cousins and my aunt
marie, my uncle was recalled by president carter before his colleagues were taken hostage on november 4th, but as i have reminded people and mentioned when i testified in my confirmation hearing, what i most remember about his service into iran was on valentine's day, february 14, 1979, our embassy was overrun and my uncle and all of his colleagues at the embassy were briefly held hostage. they were eventually rescued by the revolutionary guards but the memory that sticks with me the most from that day is on the same day, our ambassador to afghanistan was kidnapped and assassinated. i, at the time, was a sophomore in college. i always thought the life of a
diplomat, i thought of my like -- my uncle at life as glamorous, socializing, it dawned on me this is hard, dangerous work, these are women and men who go out to their posts on armed, representing the united states, representing us and subjecting themselves to enormous risks. all of you here know and live through what we came to realize where the larger risks that materialize on august 7, 1998, and it is my honor to stand before you today to remember the victims of that terrorist attack on our embassies in nairobi. i want to acknowledge ambassadors bushnell and laying for their efforts bringing everyone here.
ambassador bushnell has impressed on me the need, not necessary but grateful to hear it, the need to both remember what happened on august 7th but continue to work to make sure the united states government not only remembers but that does all it needs to to make sure everyone who was impacted by those events hold, to be respected and made whole. i want to acknowledge the deputy chief of kenya, and the ambassador of tanzania for attending today's event and i want to thank all of you. survivors of families that are here today, we are here to honor you today and honor those who
lost their lives in nairobi 20 years ago, 20 years after that faithful morning, we are reminded of the bravery, heroism, compassion and sacrifice of those who are here today and those who were taken from us. we remember the legacy of those who perished. many of you acted to save lives, with colleagues and strangers. we thank all of you for your courage, bravery, the call of basic humanity to respond to those attacks who were injured and killed on that day. those brave women and men here and countless others who parish defending the cause of freedom the we owe a great debt of gratitude. yesterday we hosted an event that many of you attended, the theme was remembrance and resilience. one thing we can draw from the powerful event is no one who
survived is untouched by the events of that day. 20 years later, i was commenting to some of you, i just witnessed those events as a spectator but they are attached in my mind, seems like just yesterday, i can only imagine what it is like for those of you who survived, despite the passage of 20 years, must be profound. the pace of events, all that happened in those 20 years is remarkable but despite the passage of time the gravity of those events and experiences we remember to share your memories, to discuss lessons in leadership from across the department, and
all of you i read in the foreign service journal, they dedicated the recent issue to the embassy bombings, leadership lessons. it is important that they be recorded and not forgotten. leadership from across the the permit is represented this morning and i want you to know the leadership of this department stand united with you in remembrance and respect of the human toll that these events took on our embassy communities and that includes other government agencies beyond department of state some of which are represented here, military colleagues, commerce department, foreign commercial service, i served in the commerce deportment and innocent bystanders, all of whom were
affected by the devastating attacks on that day. i spent time earlier with some of you, speaking to the survivors and family members of those who perished. i included millions of americans who never understand the ultimate sacrifice made 20 years ago by those who perished in the attack. it is just a fact of life. the pace of life in modern america, remembering what happened 20 years ago. i remember, but it is difficult for most americans, thinking about something that happened 20 years ago seems like an ancient memory. it is not for this department are those of you gathered here and the leadership of this department will ensure that americans remember. in this department certain of you will remember, recognize the depth of you and your loved one's commitment to public service and never forget the
price paid by so many colleagues, friends, loved ones and innocent strangers. august 7th was and still is a difficult reminder of the sacrifice members of the community make every day to answer the call to public service. a call that is inextricably tied to the interests of our republic, women and men who serving consulates around the world do challenging work and it is not always fully appreciated by many of those fellow americans. they protect our interests and promote our values. our staff, americans, those who serve in uniform, who serve in our embassies, into hardships often at great risk far away from home because it keeps the united states safer and stronger
and as i mentioned at the outset we can't succeed without vital assistance of locally employed staff who work hand-in-hand with us to advance the interests of the united states and i think personally all those survivors many of whom continue to hold important positions at embassies in nairobi as we speak and we recognize the valuable contributions of locally employed staff who make those contributions every day at us posts around the world. 20 years ago, al qaeda tried and failed to undermine the values we are sworn to uphold. we may be facing new threats in different parts of the world the imperative to remain vigilant endures. to this end we remain committed to ending the scourge of global terrorism by whatever means it calls itself. in so doing we must honor the
memories of those we continue to mourn today by pressing the cause of freedom and justice to which they dedicated their lives. sacrifices of the victims and their families will not be in vain. we must continue to stand strong in our values. those who would inflict violence on others will not be allowed to prevail. those who preach intolerance and hatred will not break us. even as we remember our fallen colleagues we continue our efforts to defeat al qaeda, isis and other global terrorist organizations and to prevent further attacks on the united states and our citizens. and they remain steadfast in our efforts to root out violent
extremism wherever it exists. i would like to welcome to the podium ambassador john lang and ambassador bushnell, their leadership was inspirational, necessary and recognized by all. i'm honored that they are here today to share their observations. it was their dedication that kept their embassies in nairobi in october 7th. all of you gathered here, they are selfless patriots, and my honor to introduce ambassador bushnell and ambassador lang. [applause] >> mister deputy secretary.
i'm happy to see members of the community here. current members of the department of state. i appreciate mister sullivan, your recognition of what it is people who go out without guns on behalf of our national security in order to make this a better and safer world. we not only do it without guns but without a band, with only one flag, the american flag and on august 7th, too many of us gave our lives. we recognize what americans and kenyans in the mission in kenya
and outside the mission did, and open political space to safeguard, human resources, natural resources, to get rid of the scourge of malaria. we do it far from home and often in danger. i spent two years before the bombing, i was told the richest nation in the world did not have the resources to fix an embassy that did not even need our own securities. mister sullivan, please. we cannot waive the need for incoming foreign service officers for high technology or
for the help services necessary after we are sent to dangerous places. and 3 years before al qaeda bombed our homeland, we are a more dangerous place then we were. our colleagues today face issues we didn't have to. take today and this moment to pledge to alter the trend. of providing inadequate resources to the people who work in peace. and for the sake of our neighbors and communities in
which we live overseas. i will never forget what resilient means. you know who taught me real resilience? remember kenyon road, and she survived under rubble before she finally succumbed 15 minutes before she was rescued. the resilience of canyon roads, contributions of kenyans his lives were cut short before they were in our vicinity, the reason we need to work in peace and in safety with shared values of those in the host country in which we take part in their community. thank you for coming, thank you for your empathy, mister sullivan and i yield my dear friend and colleague john laying. [applause]
>> thank you very much, mister sullivan, deputy secretary and the assistant secretary for african affairs. this is a solemn day for all of us who went through those bombings. august 7, 1998, there were 2000 pounds of tnt sent shockwaves through nairobi and through this building and the state department. it was a shock to have 11 people dead where i was based in 213 dead, thousands were injured but to have thousands bombed simultaneously with a wake-up call for the state department in terms of the threat of terrorism.
the real threat of terrorism. the foreign service, americans and tanzanians and kenyans advancing us interests every day were risking their lives to do so but when i look at many survivors of the bombings, or attending the commemorations that took place today in nairobi or those who were unable to be at any of those events, might be heroes, not just because they were fortunate enough to survive the terrible bombing but because they rose to the occasion after the bombing. to identify the dead and grieve for their families, to help the injured get the medical care needed. that meant climbing over embassy walls on ladders to have access to those who are injured or walking a mile with one shoe on
and taking someone to the hospital. to set up a temporary embassy within 24 hours that used old furniture that was supposed to be auctioned off on august 8th and a communications center and the cashier and the mailroom and all the things that are necessary for an embassy to function. counselor section had to be re-established. we had 350 personnel, 225 from the fbi which did a wonderful job investigating this heinous act so that all those who had been tried in new york and us courts were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. people who rose to the occasion had to deal with the international media calling
every few minutes to get updates. they were liaising with the government of tanzania which gave us excellent support and thank you for being here today. they knew the tragedy that occurred and wanted to help us the best they could and in the long run improved us tanzanian relations, didn't drive us apart. we had to have security even though the facilities we moved to were very insecure. the marines sent and 50 extra marines to give us security and the regional security officer to ensure that we have the security we need. and another way of rising to the occasion is the pursuit of justice in the face of tyranny. so what i see when i look around
here, people who did rise to the occasion whether they were americans or tanzanians or others, the fundamental message is we will not let the terrorists win, the united states government will not be cut by terrorism. we rebuilt and resurrected our operations and we were very proud to have the united states flag fly again in nairobi so we could work together with the kenyan government and the tanzanian government to move forward in the face of this heinous act by osama bin laden. i will forever be grateful to those in the audience today, thank you. [applause]
[applause] >> thank you very much for your eloquence, heart and soul, this concludes the ceremony and we would like to invite everyone to please come forward for a group photo. thank you so much. god bless you all. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> tonight at 8:00 pm eastern, former president barack obama delivers the mandela lecture in south africa. >> it does not mean we have to
abandon our unique ethnic, national and religious identities. never stop being proud of this tribal heritage, he didn't stop being proud of being a black man and a south african. but he believed as i believe that you can be proud of your heritage without denigrating those of a different heritage. >> on thursday at 8:00 eastern, youth activists address the us conference of mayors. >> i can't explain the feelings you have during a school shooting. one thing i can relate it to, the feeling of anxiety, uselessness, not being able to do absolutely anything. only one other place where i felt that, the united states congress. it might sound like a funny remark but it is no joke.
i have spoken with legislators from across the board, senators, representatives, mayors. and not one single person is confident that one thing can be done about the 17 people who died in my school and the many others who have died since. >> watch on c-span, c-span.org and listen to the free c-span radio apps. >> tonight, booktv is in prime time on c-span28 with a look at recent biographies. we will hear from lillian who recalled the life of the late san francisco politician harvey milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in america. her book is harvey milk, his life and death.
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clerks to supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. they will talk about working with him in his approach to their job as a judge on the dc circuit court of appeals live on c-span. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created by american absolution companies that we bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> federal and state officials recently testified before the house oversight and government reform committee about efforts to score us election systems. and undersecretary from the permit